Several terminals including the Surface Neo should be postponed to 2021. Microsoft would consider replacing Windows 10S with Windows 10X.
Delays linked to the coronavirus will force, according to the American press, Microsoft to postpone the launch of the Surface Neo and other dual-screen PCs, whose release was initially planned for 2020 and 2021. Only the Microsoft Surface Duo, running Android, will not be impacted.
Sources close to Microsoft had told our colleagues at PC World that the launch of Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2 was postponed until the end of April, Microsoft simply fearing, they said, of not having enough apparatus to be marketed. But the Redmond company is also faced with another reality: consumers do not necessarily want to buy a high-end Windows work machine and a Windows device focused on mobility while they are stranded at home because from COVID-19 and are concerned about losing their jobs.
A source close to Microsoft said that the production of Surface Neo had been paused to reallocate resources and meet the most urgent needs of customers. On the other hand, the delivery of the Surface Duo, based on Android, scheduled for 2020, is still maintained. Microsoft has also invested resources in the development of Windows 10X, launched as an emulator in February.
Smart users have found a solution to run Windows 10 X on a single screen machine soon after. A priority now for Microsoft, including classic clamshells and two-in-one machines, most likely because of the very mixed reception of Windows 10 S.
Windows 10X for everyone
When Windows 10 S launched in 2017, Microsoft wanted to compete with Google and its inexpensive Chromebook in the educational world. Windows devices at the time were considered far too expensive and far too complex by the industry. They still are. Google’s approach was to host almost everything on the web and run everything in a sandbox within its ChromeOS operating system. The offer met the needs of the schools in terms of budget, and its machine was more difficult to divert by the pupils.
On the high-end part, analysts focused on the fact that Microsoft was working on expensive dual-screen terminals, and on the question of whether this strategy made sense in a world where the screen and the keyboard unique are among the majority uses. While Microsoft today postpones the release of these dual-screen devices, the company could change direction and position Windows 10X in the market for low-priced products.
Like Windows 10 S, Windows 10X is a locked system that only works with so-called “trusted” applications, the range of which has been extended this time beyond the Windows Store. All updates will be done in the background and quickly. The device could even do without anti-malware.
Advantages of Windows 10X highlighted
But its container model is perhaps the most interesting addition to Windows 10X. Each Windows 10X application will run in its own virtualized container, protecting the operating system, user data, and other applications in case an application is compromised. Microsoft also claims that the OS will need fewer resources and that its latency will be lower than that of traditional virtual machines.
This seems essential for equipment designed with maximum savings to reduce its cost. Windows 10X is also visually simple. The traditional “Start” menu has disappeared, replaced by a very common “application drawer” in an interface that resembles that of a smartphone.
Whatever happens, it will probably take some time. Microsoft’s immediate priority will likely be to get their hands on the application container model. The company must also finalize its operating system, refine it, integrate it with its existing device management software and convince PC manufacturers, either to create dedicated Windows 10X single-screen devices or to readjust some of its existing equipment.
It is very likely that almost all PC manufacturers will follow suit, and that they will continue to develop and supply Chromebooks at the same time. In case Windows 10X does not attract the expected buyers …
For Surface Duo fans, don’t worry. Microsoft was thrilled to present the Android Surface Duo mobile in a home work environment (alongside a Surface Book, by the way). As for Windows 10X, Microsoft must aim for an exit from the OS in July or August 2020, if the manufacturer wants to be in phase with the new school year in September. Until then, classic Windows PCs (and Chromebooks) will continue to reign supreme on the market.